West Tisbury: I couldn’t be happier


When Sylvia Thompson died, her daughters gave me a jasmine plant that had belonged to her. I had never had one before, so read up on how to care for it. I cut it back, fed it, and kept it in our upstairs bathroom, a place that was sunny but unheated. Jasmine likes cool temperatures. Apparently it likes it there. It bloomed sparsely last year, but this year it is covered with sprays of delicate white flowers. I couldn’t be happier. It would have made Sylvia happy, too.

The days are getting noticeably longer. It’s still light till well after five in the afternoons. January has flown by, with hardly any real winter days. I often run out without a coat in the mornings to go to work, where I’ll be indoors all day anyway, and it’s still warm enough when I leave.

Mike has almost finished our dog pen. Just one gate still to be made and hung. The gates are beautiful and well-constructed, as is everything he does. We can’t wait to let Abby out there to run and play without a leash. It will give the cats a break, too, to have her run off some of her puppy energy.

The end of January means it is the beginning of February, and Groundhog Day, the date of Cynthia Riggs’s annual party. Cynthia thinks this year is the 31st since she and her mother, Dionis, began their open house for friends and neighbors. It has become quite a tradition for many in town. Groundhog Day is Sunday, Feb. 2, and Cleaveland House will be receiving visitors between 5 and 7 pm. Please bring an hors d’oeuvre if you like, and park in the field off of New Lane.

The February meeting of the Neighborhood Convention will be held at the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 11 am. Stoddard Lane-Reticker will present the program, “Focus on Youth and Faith.” All are welcome to attend. Bring a sack lunch. Beverages will be provided.

Don’t forget that the warrant for annual town meeting closes on Feb. 4, and the last day to register to vote before the presidential primary is Feb. 12. See Tara Whiting-Wells at Town Hall between 8:30 am and 1:30 pm.

West Tisbury Parks and Recreation is sponsoring a Free Skate at the Martha’s Vineyard Arena next Sunday, Feb. 9, from noon to 1 pm. Hot chocolate will be provided. Bring a dessert or a snack to share.

The Anchors is hosting an information session about PERS, personal emergency response systems that people wear around their necks and use to get help in case of a medical emergency. The date is Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 1 pm. Call Meris Keating at 508-627-4368 or email mkeating@edgartown-ma.us to register.

If you have ever considered becoming a foster parent, and would like to learn about the requirements and the process, the second annual Foster Parent Recruitment event for Martha’s Vineyard will be held on Feb. 29 at the home of Elexis Wildanger in Oak Bluffs. Chris Russo, a DCF social worker, will be there between 11 am and 2 pm. Call Chris at 508-760-0275 or Elexis at 508-326-1155 for more information, and to let them know if you are planning to attend. There is a great need for foster parents here on the Island. Think about helping if you can.

At the West Tisbury library this coming week:

Thursday, Jan. 30, 10:30 am, David Rhoderick’s “Classical Music Is for You.” At 3 pm, Laura Jordan’s Little Bird Music Class for children.

Saturday, Feb. 1, 10:30 am, “What Makes West Tisbury Tick?” Learn about our town government, local politics, and how to get involved. Town administrator Jen Rand, town clerk Tara Whiting-Wells, finance committee member Doug Ruskin, and others will be on hand to talk about how our town runs and to answer your questions. Free childcare will be provided during the meeting. Please call the library to sign up in advance for childcare at 508-693-3366. 

From 3:30 to 5 pm, there will be a reception for artist Alexis Russillo, whose watercolors will be exhibited through the month of February.

Sunday, Feb. 2, 1 pm, a “Seedy Sunday Celebration” at the Ag Hall, where the Martha’s Vineyard Community Seed Library invites everyone to share seeds and information about them. At 3 pm at the library, artist, musician, and teacher Melissa Knowles will speak about her work with some of Tanzania’s most vulnerable children.

Monday, Feb. 3, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop.

Tuesday, Feb. 4, 10:30 am, Adult Community Dance Class with the Yard! At 4 pm, Sign Language Practice Circle.

Wednesday, Feb. 5, 4:30 pm, Dr. Kay Suna Kawa of Martha’s Vineyard Wellness Studio will discuss stress, how it impacts our ability to function, and how to unwind from years of tension and stress to live a more healthy, peaceful life.

Happy birthday wishes to Betty and Janice Haynes on Feb. 1.

I was sad to learn that Jim Lehrer died last week. A journalist of integrity and erudition, for many years he hosted what has become the “PBS NewsHour” with fellow journalist Robert MacNeil. I still call it “MacNeil Lehrer,” as it was when it began and when I began watching it.